Windows 7 - Using Windows Aero

Introducing Windows Aero
Windows 7 provides two distinct user interface experiences: a "basic" experience for entry-level systems, and a more visually dynamic experience called Windows Aero. Windows Aero is an environment with an additional level of visual sophistication. Windows Aero provides spectacular visual effects, such as glass-like interface elements that you can see through, subtle window animations, window colors, live thumbnails that you can display on the taskbar, Windows Flip and Windows Flip 3D that you can use to graphically open windows, and Aero Peek or Aero Shake that you can use to minimize and restore open programs and windows.

Live Taskbar Thumbnails
When you rest the mouse pointer over a taskbar item, Windows Aero displays a Live thumbnail of the window, showing the content of that window. The Live thumbnail is displayed whether the window is minimized or not, and whether the content of the window is a document, photo, or even a running video or process.

Windows Flip and Windows Flip 3D
Windows Aero provides two ways to manage windows: Windows Flip and Windows Flip 3D. Flip allows you to flip through open windows, providing a Live thumbnail of each window, rather than just a generic icon and file name. By using the Alt+Tab keys, live thumbnails appear to make it easier to quickly identify the window you want, particularly when multiple windows of the same kind are open. The selected live thumbnail appears on the desktop and all other windows appear transparent (New!). Windows Flip 3D creates a view of your open windows in a three-dimensional stack on your desktop. By using the (Windows logo) A+Tab keys, you can flip through the open windows to quickly locate and select the window you want. You can also use the scroll wheel on your mouse to flip through open windows in a stack and select the one you want.

Show the Desktop with Aero Peek
In Windows Basic, when you click the Show desktop button (the blank button on the right side of the taskbar next to the clock), it minimizes all open windows to display the desktop. In Windows Aero, the functionality changes a bit. When you point to the Show desktop button in Windows Aero, all open windows appear transparent (New!), which allows you to quickly peek at the desktop. If you prefer the Windows Basic functionality, you can turn off the peek transparency. Rightclick the Show desktop button, and then click Peek At Desktop to turn it off and on (New!). Minimize Windows with Aero Shake With Aero Shake, you can minimize and restore all open windows except the one you’re shaking, dragging back and forth (New!). Simply, click the menu bar of the window you want to keep open, and then drag (shake) the window back and forth. If you prefer using a keyboard shortcut, you can also press Windows logo key+Home to minimize or restore all windows except for the active window.

Preparing for Windows Aero
Windows 7 can display different features based on the hardware capabilities of the computer it is running on. Computers running Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Starter, or those without the hardware needed to run Windows Aero use the basic user interface. If your computer meets the minimal hardware requirements to be Windows 7 PC Capability Ready, you see the Windows 7 Basic user experience. If your computer meets the increased hardware requirements to be Windows 7 PC Premium Ready, you see the Windows Aero user experience. The increased requirements include:
• 1-gigahertz (GHz) 32-bit or 64-bit (x64) processor
• 1 GB of RAM
• 128 MB graphics card
• DirectX 9 class graphics processor
• 64, 128, or 256 MB of graphics memory (Recommended)

Running Windows Aero
Before you can run Windows Aero, you need to make sure Windows 7 contains the proper settings. Make sure your computer meets the increase hardware requirements and the Windows theme is set to a Windows 7 Aero theme in the Control Panel under Appearance and Personalization. If you encounter a problem, the Aero troubleshooter opens to help you out. If the troubleshooter doesn’t open, you can open it in Windows Help and Support. Click the Start button, click Help and Support, type aero troubleshooter in the Search box, press Enter, and then click Open The Aero Troubleshooter.

Source of Information : Microsoft Windows 7 on Demand (2009) (ATTiCA)

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